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Zipcar Ready

Join Zipcar and get $50 in free driving!

It’s time to join. Zipcar files for $75 million IPO today! Car sharing with Zipcar leaves car rental and car ownership in the dust. You get wheels when you want them and pay as you go (literally). With bigger savings and fewer headaches than car ownership. They even pay for gas and insurance. DARE+ runs on Zipcar for Business which gives employees sweet perks. It’s a great user experience story worthy of checking out.

Get started in the USA, United Kingdom and Canada.

Form, Function

While a binary timepiece will certainly up your geek cred, it’s not very useful for providing at-a-glance information. Robert Dabi’s Zero concept above, however, remains simple, beautiful, and amazingly enough, useful, all that same time. Practical too if he can coax a batch of round LCD displays into a production run. More pics and video after the break.

Caught up with some amusing reader feedback:

Awful design: Forcing the user to add an extra decode step in order to adapt its function to their design narrative. The function of the device (time display in this case) should not be subsumed by the design. Period.

Designer: Robert Dabizero

Interstellar Projector

Reminiscent of a treasured sci-fi movie that often ends up influencing product design (inverse can often be true too).

David Riesenberg obviously had his head in the clouds when he dreamed up the OO High Definition Wireless Projector, but it’s not like we’re kvetching about his imagination’s ability to go far beyond the limits of most humans. For one thing, the concept 1080p projector looks (and lands) like a stunning orange UFO; for another, the specs are otherwordly. Should the device ever come to market, Reisenberg says it will pack SSD storage, WiFi and internal decoder chips into its svelte, 11-inch round carbon fiber frame, as well as three independently articulated legs for balance and a Li-ion battery for up to three hours of cord-free HD streaming and playback.

Designer: David Riesenberg via Engadget

Vintage Bikes

For chief mechanic Bryan his passion is in the restoration of old bikes. Those old Triumph’s are lying idle, waiting patiently for a new lease of life. We’re making a new film about how companies and individuals define their passion and set about acting upon it.

Boom! Boom! cards

In case you are unfamiliar with them, Boom Boom! Cards are an intentional act of kindness kit where all you have to do is be kind, track it on line. If you have ever thought, “Gee, I sure would like to help change the world” this kit is for you!

There are 26 cards in a kit, each one is an invitation to join the Boom Boom! Revolution, a small but growing army of people who are sure that we can re-vision the world we know and create the world we want through simple actions that allow us to reach out and exercise the innate altruism that lives in all of us. It’s an experiment, really. It’s never been done before.

Bowers & Wilkins

Glorious British headphones, diminutive leaders of retro perhaps — the name is Bowers & Wilkins.

Mountain Truck

monster mountain truckTotal daring idea for 4×4 extreme mountain use.

Reclaim re-purpose renewal

Reclaim, a super-eco cellphone made from 80 percent recycled materials. The device — a stout, sliding, QWERTY message-friendly model — is constructed from “bio-plastic” materials made from corn, is free of PVC, and mostly free of BFR (brominated flame retardants)… which are apparently pretty bad. The phone also has a 2 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, can accept microSD cards (we assume) up to 32GB, and has Sprint Navigation onboard. The packaging will be eco-friendly as well, as it’s constructed from 70 percent recycled materials and printed with soy-based ink.

Getting big brands to deliver on eco-friendly products was a tough sell. Now it’s no longer thought of as risky but actually it’s a smart and logical way to contribute to the triple bottom line.

Oddcast

Playing with some fun cross over ideas this week. Auto Callback is a powerful Oddcast technology that lets users take the online experience offline. Users can receive a phone call with a prerecorded or personalized message: from a movie star, from a brand character, or even from a live representative from your company.

Good stories

Came across a firm doing some nice interactive design work for TomTom up in Boston, MA. They understand (and can articulate nicely) some of the learning’s of good e-commerce content. A firm with a passion for storytelling.

Daring class

DARE by name and nature, UK Royal Navy is now plugged into the ethos and kudos by announcing a new type 45 ship called HMS Daring. It’s a powerful new approach to defensive and counter-insurgency on the high seas.

HMS Daring, the first of six Type 45 Anti Air Warfare Destroyers in production for the Royal Navy, has docked at its home port of Portsmouth for the first time.

It has been hailed by its creators as the most powerful and advanced vessel of its kind. As a class of warship, destroyers have historically been small, agile ships designed to protect larger, slower convoys and strike groups from airborne and naval threats. Since the end of World War II, destroyers have steadily grown, both in size and in terms of firepower.

HMS Daring is no exception to this trend. The Type 45 destroyer’s primary mission is air defence, a role that its arsenal reflects. The Principal Anti Air Missile System (Paams) is the Type 45’s primary weapons platform and is designed to combat enemy missile attacks on ships.

Intel and Otellini

Marketwatch reporting today:

Otellini reaffirmed the company’s plan to introduce a 32 nanometer production technology in the second half of the year, saying, “We’ve always believed that the best way to successfully emerge from recessions is with tomorrow’s products, not by standing still with today’s.”

Intel, please help us by describing what attributes make for desirable products that people truly love to use? I call this going beyond the nanometer yard stick.

Kubrick

“The best education in film is to make one. I would advise any neophyte director to try to make a film by himself” ( neophyte means “a recent convert to a belief” )

Packaging Design

Clean and slick design by Martin Zampach. Fruit drinks designed by Templin Brink Design combine beautiful illustration and an interesting form of the bottle. Sexy, striking, catchy and beautiful — package design by R Design Studio from London. The choice of colors is remarkable.

Russell and Hazel

Simple, well designed products for everyday office and home use. We use them in our office and I think you should too. Impeccable company, eco-friendly (and nicely done) USA manufactured. Check them out.

Tonky

This design shop TONKY makes wall stickers for bedrooms, and adult rooms too! Several quirky animal characters (squid, cow, pirana) hoping to brighten up any interior. If you confess to liking ‘fun/odd stuff for kids’ that has a hint of dark ironic humour, you’ll appreciate this vibe.

Tonky Design Logo

UK Suck Design

Two London based product designers have learnt to be adaptive and figure out way to get products out of the door. They describe the story, about humble beginnings from a basement in North London. Suck UK is a highly awarded and respected source of inventive and often inspiring products.

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SUCK UK produce furniture, lighting, interior products and accessories. Design is mostly by Sam and Jude or selected by them from some of the best designers around the world.

The story … IN THE BEGINNING… we started out doing stuff for other people. One off eclectic projects attracted commissions from architects and other designers. The idea to produce actual commercial products came from working on low budget film, TV, and interior jobs (but mainly from the gaps between the jobs). SUCK (the brand) was established in late 1999 from humble beginnings working on a kitchen floor in a bedsit in North London. We worked on our own concepts making stuff that we liked for no-one in particular: products with Glamour and pure industrial forms, off-the-wall and unnecessary functionality, things to grab your attention without resorting to kitsch or parody. We used materials that we knew about and experimented with ones we didnt. We obsessed about processes and materials, always working towards elegant (Cheap) production solutions. Working in this cramped environment with no outside support made learning hard and fast. We worked (unfortunately for the neighbours) through the night and filled our days with dead-end jobs to buy materials and pay the phone bill. Money was unbelievably tight and a unique ability to utilise our surroundings and whatever tools we could get became a way of life. With trial and error we learned to cannibalise existing products, combine materials in new ways and to scrounge professional expertise as often as possible. It was fast becoming evident that our makeshift studio was completely inappropriate, kitchens are no place for sheet metal fabrication, sticky chemicals and spray paint. Our flat-mates decided enough was enough and they wanted their home back. New premises were required and with no money the solution came in the form of an empty room in a squatted embassy building in Primrose Hill. The only room without boards at the windows became our studio and a nearby phone-box the office. It was damp, dark and smelt but there was lots of room to experiment in. It was at this time that we really started to develop our products, banging together prototypes with whatever materials were at hand and attempting some sort of small-scale manufacture. Now SUCK really started making progress and developing some sort of a direction. We were working on stuff that wouldnt look out of place in Londons clubs and galleries but we wanted to get this into peoples houses… Production was set back by an unexpected eviction late one night. Most of our old equipment was lost as we scrabbled around on the floor gathering up our stuff with bemused police officers looking on in disbelief. We made it out with our prototypes intact and the determination and confidence to quit our day jobs and put all our energy into developing the brand. Two moves later and we are now based in a East End studio like proper designers. No sooner than the dust has settled and we are planning a permanent exhibition space… We refuse to restrict ourselves to any one material or technique. Each of our products is different from the next and as we discover different ways of working and new materials we incorporate these into new products. SUCK is not a craft based company, we design based on our knowledge of how, why, where and what is possible. We work closely with specialist manufacturers in many fields so we get the benefit of years of manufacturing expertise without having to physically learn the craft. As time passes a more recognisable SUCK Style is emerging and we are already ditching some of the earlier products which helped launch the company as we introduce newer ideas. Our stuff is attracting a lot of attention from the public as well as the press. We have appeared in the usual interior mags and Sunday supplements. We have even represented the face of “contemporary design” on the BBC. Public reaction to our products was fantastic when we launched at Mode in June 2000 (we kept it quiet that everything at the show was only at the prototype stage and nobody seemed to notice!). We have been presented an award for ‘Most Innovative New Product’ by Terence Conran (It took another ten months before The Conran Shop itself agreed to stock our stuff) and Best ‘In Show at MODE’. We are now represented in all the big ‘name’ department stores as well as loads of indie shops (who supported us from early on). We are never content however, and the next few months will see us release some of the best new products to come out of the UK in a long time… SUCK UK is products designed by Sam and Jude Central Saint Martins 96 (BA Product Design)